Expert: Parental abduction never in child’s best interest


An Ontario expert familiar with parental abduction cases speaks about how children are emotionally damaged by these incidents and relates two stories of children who were found in Toronto.

Terry Smith, Program Administration for Child Find Ontario, discussed the last side effects on children who have been abducted by a parent during a phone interview. She stressed first and foremost that parental abduction is a crime. “In almost all cases a child is not abducted for the good of the child.
Those cases are extremely rare. We have systems in place for when a child is in danger from another parent. Taking the law into your own hands is never the right way to go.” Smith said that for the most part parents who may not get along still do a wonderful job of co-parenting because they put the best interest of their children above all else.
Sometimes there are issues that need to be addressed which are by use of the systems that are in place. There may be reasons that the courts limit visitations for instance that a parent wants to change. By using the court system parents can work to give their children their best. “Parents may not always like the answers but the systems are managed by people who are without an emotional stake allowing them to work for what is in the best interest of the child.
The system works. In the rare cases that it doesn’t work parents need to challenge the system. Instead of abducting a child a good parent will come up with an idea to make the system work better. By and large co-parenting even without liking the former spouse is being done wonderfully every day.” It’s when a parent oversteps those systems, taking off with their child that everything falls apart.
Abducting ones own child is a crime. Still the public, media and even some law authorities view parental abduction as a ‘soft crime’ placing the bigger fears with stranger abductions. It is not often stressed the seriousness of parental abduction. The scars left on the child in these cases are not visible so they tend to be overlooked. “When found kids can do wonderfully when they are helped.
The children need to have support though in order to thrive and realize that they are not at fault.” While most parental abductions do not end violently some do.
Changing the public’s perspective of parental abduction is needed in order for more of these children to be found more quickly. The longer a child is on the run the more emotional damage there is and the longer it takes for the child to become a ‘real kid’ again when they are found. “When one person jumps out of line is when it goes wrong. When they feel that they are above the law their kids will suffer.
Parental abduction has serious side effects on the children. Trust, identity, living a lie, everything they knew of their life is gone, having to choose one parent over another-these add up on the overall toll to the child.” When a parent makes the decision to abduct their child they tend to not be considering their child’s best interest but rather their own. Being pulled away from the world a child knows has lasting effects. Kids who have been found and reunited with their other parent have said that they felt alone and isolated, betrayed by their parents and most damaging of all felt that they were in some way responsible for their parents actions.
The Victims of Violence website states that the child victim is often depressed, has a loss of community and stability, anger, loneliness, helplessness and a fear of abandonment. Some of the children have experienced Reactive Attachment Disorder, Separation Anxiety Disorder, Overanxious Disorder, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Conduct Disorder, Disruptive Behaviour Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, eating disorders, learning disorders, regression and elimination disorders, and Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome as a result of their time on the run. Smith said that these children have to deal with a huge internal tug of war. While there are few cases in Canada where children taken in parental abductions have been murdered there are a few.
One case that Smith related dealt with a man who was angry at his ex and took their daughter in Toronto. He had threatened to kill both himself and the child. The man threw the girl off an overpass and then jumped. The child survived, the father did not. Regardless when a parent is abducting their child they are “not running on all cylinders” Smith said. Smith said that when children are found they can thrive. She related two stories about children who were found that live in the Greater Toronto Area. “One little boy that has been taken when he was four spent four years on the run. He had never been to school or a doctor.
Parental-Kidnapping
Today he is thriving. His father made sure that he had the help and support he needed to go on.” Smith continued, “Another girl had been found after thirteen years. When a child has been missing for such a long period of time they are really strangers to their parents and visa versa. While there were many adjustments that had to be made she is doing okay today.” There is one time that it is wise to take your child and ‘run.’ If you are in an abusive relationship going to a shelter is the safe thing to do. This is legal and in the best interest of both you and your child. This is not parental abduction.
This is a safety issue. Go through the proper legal systems. If you are in danger then get help. Go to a shelter or contact the police. If you don’t think the police will be of help then tell someone like your doctor, your child’s teacher or a school employee about your situation. Above all learn your legal rights.”

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Child Recovery Services – Parental Child Abduction


Time is a very important factor if a child is Abducted

Tragically International Child Abduction has reached global epidemic proportions.  According to leading experts the increase in inter-racial marriages and relationships  will, in the future, lead to a significant rise in the number of children born to parents of different nationalities

As is true for all relationships, a statistically significant number of these marriages or partnerships will also end in divorce.       All too often, following the breakup of a marriage, one of the parents will abduct a child of that relationship against the wishes of the other parent,  frequently removing them to a country where the child has probably never lived.     This is called “International Parental Child Abduction”.

Although there are various civil remedies available to  parents of abducted children , the challenges they face are enormous, including first and foremost, locating  the child .

Unfortunately for the majority of targeted parents, the financial burden involved in recovery and litigation falls upon their shoulders. With tens of thousands of children abducted by parents each year, the reality is that too many of these children never come home.  ABP World Group is dedicated to assisting those parents who need help in locating, rescuing, and returning  their abducted child home safely.


Our intelligence and investigative capabilities combined with our ability to dispatch personnel to most locations in the world offer a safe and strategic solution to protecting what is most important to you : your child.

Unfortunately in this present climate parental kidnapping  occurs all too frequently and we are here to help you through this extremely traumatic  period.

We are aware that parental child abduction can be difficult to resolve, but through the use of professional operatives with the skills and expertise necessary to find a resolution. we are here to help you

ABP World Group’s successful recovery and re-unification strategy relies on the use of all the means available  including, but not limited to:

Electronic Forensic Foot printing Investigations

Intelligence Gathering

Information Specialists/Skip Tracing

Evidence Procurement

Interview/Evaluation

Surveillance Special Ops

Non-Combatant Evacuation Ops

Domestic Support

International Operations

Maritime/Land/Air transport

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One key to ABP World Group`s successful recovery and re-unification of your loved one is to use all necessary means available

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U.S Phone Number: (646) 502-7443

UK Phone Number: 020 3239 0013 –

Or you can call our 24h Emergency phone number: +47 45504271

International Parental Child Abduction : Fathers pay price when mothers take children


Source: Irish Times – Irishtimes.com

JOHN WATERS

DESPITE ONE-THIRD of births occurring in non-marital relationships, unmarried Irish fathers remain deeply ignorant of their legal situation.

Under Irish law, such fathers have no automatic right to the day-to-day care of their children (“custody”) or to a say in the upbringing of their children (“guardianship”). What they have is the right to apply to a court, which may then extend rights of guardianship and custody according to the nature of the relationship between the child and the father, a matter almost invariably dictated by the attitude and behaviour of the gatekeeper-mother.

Although mischievous agents propose that the high numbers of Irish unmarried fathers neglecting to apply for guardianship is evidence of indifference, the fact is that many fathers, reluctant to initiate legal proceedings that might create a conflict where none exists, tend to leave well alone.

This leads to extreme difficulties when mothers abduct children to other jurisdictions and fathers find themselves bereft of legal standing.

Almost all European countries now make legal provision for the concept of the “de facto family” – which extends legal recognition in situations in which unmarried parents and their children have lived together in quasi-marital situations. This can enable an unmarried father who has no formal guardianship order to invoke the Hague Convention in the event that his child is abducted. Irish law is noticeably out of step in the recognition of such “inchoate rights”.

The man in the street may attribute this circumstance to oversight. Alas, it arises from the ideological outlook of the Irish State, which is determined to withhold from unmarried fathers anything but the most minimal recognition forced upon it by international law.

The lay person, too, might surmise that, all things being equal, the objective of the Irish State will always be to strive towards just and equitable resolutions, subject only to whatever legal impediments may arise.

Alas, in abduction situations where the abductor is the mother, such an assumption would be mistaken.

In fact, the pattern of behaviour by the Irish central authority in these matters – ie the Department of Justice – is to turn its back on fathers whose children have been abducted, even when the destination country is reluctant to accept jurisdiction.

This policy became clear over the past 18 months, in a case arising from the refusal of a mother to bring her two children back to Ireland after a summer holiday in New York. For six years the father had lived in Ireland with his children, in virtually every respect as though married to the mother. In August 2010, the mother told him she and their two children would remain in New York, where she was moving in with a man she had met on Facebook.

The children had been born in New York, which meant that the father was their legal guardian under US law. He had the right to apply to a New York court, but felt that to do so would be to acquiesce in what had happened.

He wished to have the matter adjudicated in Ireland, where his children had lived almost all their lives. He approached the Department of Justice but was told that, since he did not have guardianship here, there was no legal recourse under the Hague Convention.

Proceedings were initiated in New York by the mother, while the father began seeking guardianship under Irish law. In November 2010, he was granted a guardianship order. Because this application was initiated within a statutory six-month period stipulated by New York law – in effect confirming the children were for legal purposes still habitually resident in Ireland – and since the father continued to reside here, the New York court ruled that the case should be determined by the Irish courts.

All that was required was for an Irish court to issue a temporary custody order in favour of the father, and the New York court could have ordered the return of the children here.

The next step was to persuade the Irish court to do the decent thing. Three hearings, in August, October and November 2011, were adjourned in turn because the judge was away. Although it was implicit in the New York decision that, by issuing a guardianship order, the Irish court had already accepted jurisdiction, the Irish judge refused to communicate with his counterpart in New York.

Instead, in the end, he wrote to the New York court handing over jurisdiction, unwittingly confirming that, contrary to the assertions of the Department of Justice, the Irish court already had jurisdiction. Thus, in December, this Irish father was forced to surrender to the jurisdiction of an American court.

These Irish proceedings, involving 12 court appearances and nine different judges over 15 months, cost this father more than €20,000.

For years I have been meeting men like this, trying to help them deal with the inscrutable processes that “legal advice” forbids me from describing in the only terms I can adequately and reasonably describe them.

I observe with dismay that things are growing worse, not just in the treatment of such men and their children, but even more ominously in the studied avoidance of these matters by other journalists who make much of calling authority to account except here, where the sleep of justice is more implacable than anywhere else.

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Increase In Parental Child Abduction From UK


8:26am UK, Wednesday June 29, 2011

The numer of abductions of British children by parents who then take them abroad has risen by 10% in the past year – prompting a campaign to combat the problem.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said the latest figures show one British child is taken every two days – a total of 161 in 2010/11.

The number taken to countries that have not signed up to an international treaty designed to ensure the return of minors who are wrongfully removed from the UK was up from 146 and 105 in the previous two years.

And it is feared the numbers may be even higher because of those that go unreported.

Countries that have not signed up to the 1980 Hague Convention are not compelled to abide by a UK court order.

The most obvious warning sign is a break down in a relationship but other signs may include a sudden interest in getting a passport or copy birth certificate for the child; a parent expressing a wish to holiday alone with the child.

FCO minister Jeremy Browne hopes the campaign will help people understand what they can do if they think their child may be at risk.

“The latest figures suggest the problem affects people from all walks of life and not just certain types of families or particular countries,” Mr Browne said.

“Finding a solution can be especially difficult if a child has been taken to a non-Hague country as there are no international systems in place to help you.

“This is why prevention is so important. The FCO will do whatever we can to provide advice and support but our role is limited, not least because we cannot interfere in the laws of another country.”

A child's bike

Evidence shows many abductions happen around school holidays when a parent refuses to return a child following a visit to the parent’s home country.

The problem has become widespread, with figures last year showing the FCO handled cases in 97 “non-Hague” countries ranging from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.

The message will be passed through websites Mumsnet and the Fatherhood Institute to spread the prevention message and make people aware of the support it can provide.

Sharon Cooke, from Reunite International Child Abduction Centre, said while sometimes there were no warning signs, there were things people could look for which might indicate their child was at risk.

“The most obvious warning sign is a breakdown in a relationship,” she said.

Jeremy Browne MP

FCO minister Jeremy Browne is backing the scheme

“Other signs may include a sudden interest in getting a passport or copy birth certificate for the child; a parent expressing a wish to holiday alone with the child; a change in circumstances such as leaving employment or redundancy, selling a house or giving up tenancy.

“There may also be a sudden change in contact arrangements or constant difficulty in being able to see the child.”

She added: “There’s often a perception – fuelled by a number of high profile cases – that it’s about fathers abducting their children.

“However, statistics show it is mainly mothers – either intentionally or unintentionally.

“The psychological impact on children can be traumatic and for the left-behind parent, the shock and loss are unbearable, particularly if they don’t know where their child is.”

:: Anyone worried their child might be at risk, or whose child has been abducted, can call the Child Abduction Section at the Foreign Office on 0207 008 0878.

People can also log on to the FCO’s website or contact Reunite on 0116 2556 234.

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Lesbians’ Child Custody Battle Turns Into International Manhunt


Monday, June 27, 2011
By JOHN CURRAN and FILADELFO ALEMAN, Associated Press

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) – Lisa Miller’s path from lesbian in committed relationship to international fugitive started in 2003.

She broke up with her partner, Janet Jenkins, renounced homosexuality and became an evangelical Christian before disappearing in 2009 with the daughter she had with Jenkins.

Now, what started as a custody battle over little Isabella Miller-Jenkins has turned into a global manhunt, with indications that Mennonite pastors and other faith-based supporters may have helped hide the two in Nicaragua and are now coming to the aid of one who the FBI says helped Miller.

Eager to keep the girl away from Jenkins and what they consider a dangerous and immoral lifestyle, they liken their roles to that of underground helpers aiding runaway slaves.

“God’s Holy Law never recognizes a gay marriage,” said Pablo Yoder, a Mennonite pastor in Nicaragua, in an email message to The Associated Press. “Thus, the Nicaraguan Brotherhood felt it right and good to help Lisa not only free herself from the so called civil marriage and lesbian lifestyle, but especially to protect her nine year old daughter from being abducted and handed over to an active lesbian and a whole-hearted activist.”

As the gay marriage movement gains momentum in the U.S. with impending legal recognition of the relationships in New York state, the case is a reminder of the obstacles and opposition that same-sex couples and their families can face.

The saga began in 2000, when Miller and Jenkins were joined in a civil union in Vermont. Two years later, Miller gave birth to the girl, through artificial insemination. The couple split in 2003, with Miller renouncing her homosexuality and becoming a Baptist, then a Mennonite.

Miller was originally granted custody of the girl, but her defiance of visitation schedules led courts in Vermont and Virginia to rule in favor of Jenkins, culminating in a judge’s 2009 decision to award custody to Jenkins.

After Miller and the girl failed to show for a court-ordered custody swap on Jan. 1, 2010, to hand the girl over to Jenkins, the hunt was on. A federal arrest warrant was issued for Miller, and her daughter’s name was added to the missing by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

But they were long gone: In 2009, two months before the judge ordered the custody change, Miller and the girl flew to Central America and took up residence for an unknown amount of time in Nicaragua before vanishing again.

So says the FBI, which revealed in April that it had arrested Nicaraguan missionary Timothy David “Timo” Miller and charged him with abetting an international kidnapping by helping arrange travel and lodging for the two. He is awaiting trial.

According to the FBI, Timo Miller — no relation to Lisa Miller — arranged to fly Miller and her daughter from Canada to Augusto C. Sandino International Airport in Managua.

He’d never met her until they arrived at the airport, according to Loyal Martin, a friend of Timo Miller’s.

Timo Miller has pleaded not guilty and is free on $25,000 bail, awaiting trial. His attorney, federal public defender Steven Barth, won’t discuss the case. Another lawyer for Timo Miller, Jeffrey Conrad, of Lancaster, Pa., didn’t respond to a request for comment.

“Tim believes there is a higher law than the laws of any country that all people, including himself, are accountable to,” said Martin, 40, of Philadelphia, N.Y., who attended Miller’s first court appearance.

In an April 1 affidavit outlining the charge against Timo Miller, FBI agent Dana Kaegel noted the involvement of various religious groups and people involved — in some fashion — with Miller.

At a minimum, she appears to have had the support in the Mennonite community outside the capital of Managua.

Yoder, who works the remote village of Waslala, 161 miles from Managua, told The Associated Press she celebrated her daughter’s birthday in his house last year. He wouldn’t say more.

“She came here to have a good time, and we allowed her to celebrate her daughter’s birthday in my house because of the love we have for the girl,” Pablo Yoder said.

Yoder, who is mentioned in the FBI’s affidavit over an email exchange with Timo Miller planning the party, told the AP in an interview he couldn’t remember how long she stayed. She slept at the house of another pastor, according to Yoder, who would not name that person for fear it would lead to questioning by police.

Members of the church made a pact not to reveal any details to protect Timothy David Miller.

“We want to remain silent because we do not know whether it would cause him problems,” Yoder said. “The moment may arrive when we are going to want to talk, when we deem it necessary to tell Nicaragua the true story.”

Nicaraguan police haven’t questioned Yoder and other members of his church, he said in an interview last month.

“They know we are not involved in this matter,” said Yoder, who likens the help given to Lisa Miller to aid given by Mennonites and Quakers to the aid abolitionists gave runaway slaves.

Richard Huber, of Myerstown, Pa., a friend of Timo Miller’s who agreed to assume custody of him after his first court appearance, sees Timo Miller’s actions as faith-based.

“Choosing to heed God’s law over man’s would be an accurate way of putting it,” he said in an email message.

Miller may have gotten help from others drawn to her predicament for religious reasons.

The lawyer for Miller’s ex-partner, Janet Jenkins, told the FBI she got a call in June 2010 from someone — she won’t say who — who told her that Lisa Miller and the girl had stayed in a beach house in coastal San Juan del Sur, about 68 miles south of Managua.

The house is owned by Philip Zodhiates, the father of Liberty University law school administrative assistant Victoria Hyden, according to the FBI. Jenkins’ attorney, Sarah Star, told the FBI that the caller told her Zodhiates had asked his daughter to put out a request for supplies for Lisa Miller.

Located in Lynchburg, Va., Liberty University was founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell. An affiliate of the university, conservative Christian law firm Liberty Counsel, formerly represented Miller in her court case in Vermont over custody of the girl.

Law school dean Mathew Staver — who leads Liberty Counsel — has said Zodhiates isn’t affiliated with either.

“From our perspective, she just dropped off the face of the Earth. We haven’t heard from her or from anyone who said they’ve heard from her,” Staver said of Lisa Miller.

Miller, 42, is wanted by the FBI and Interpol, which recently requested the help of Nicaraguan police in the search. U.S. Embassy officials in Nicaragua said they don’t know where she is.

“We have clues, but we do not want to reveal them so as not to hinder our investigation,” Fernando Borge, spokesman for the Nicaraguan national police, told the AP last month. “We can’t say either, at the moment, whether she is or is not in the country.”

A security guard at the hotel Royal Chateau in San Juan del Sur, Juan Garcia, told the AP last month he remembered seeing Miller and her daughter seated along the waterfront.

Back in Vermont, Jenkins waits for word on their whereabouts, a break in the case — or both.

“It is hard to understand how anyone could consider a childhood on the run better and more stable than one surrounded by family, with two parents and two sets of grandparents who can provide love and support,” Jenkins, who declined to be interviewed for this story, said in an email.

Timo Miller, meanwhile, awaits trial on the abetting count, which could send him to prison for three years. For now, he and his wife and their four children are staying in Pennsylvania, with Huber.

Supporters have rallied to Timo Miller’s his side. At his April 25 court appearance in federal court in Burlington, Vt., dozens of supporters turned out.

More than $30,000 has been raised for his legal defense fund, and donors have provided he and his family with a minivan and an apartment, according to http://www.timomiller.org, the Timothy Miller Family Support Network’s website.

“When Isabella was about 18 months old, Lisa Miller realized the emptiness of her lesbian lifestyle, and her mother’s instinct alerted her to the danger that lifestyle posed for her young daughter. She chose to leave that lifestyle, repented of her immoral ways, and began a new life,” according to the website.

Star calls Miller’s actions kidnapping. She doesn’t buy the idea of civil disobedience.

“My understanding is that civil disobedience is an act of defiance against a government. Janet Jenkins is not the government, she is a mother who is worried sick about her daughter.”

——

Associated Press correspondent Filadelfo Aleman reported from Nicaragua.

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Parental Kidnapping – What to Do When the Other Parent Will Not Return the Child


I hope you never need this article. Very rarely does it happen, but there are times that one parent goes off the deep end and decides that the Orders of the Court are not meant for them.

Children are taken out of school, hidden at relatives’ homes, and secreted from the “custodial” parent. (In this context custodial means the parent who should have that child during that time frame or the parent with the majority contact time.)

The first step is to make sure that the current Order is clear and specific enough to be enforceable. Whether law enforcement will assist when one parent violates a court ordered contact schedule has a lot to do with how clearly written it is. Even with the most clearly written order there are times that law enforcement will not want to get involved. This is when the Court needs to be contacted. Emergency Motions are some of the most overused motions around.

Judges hate them because 1) everyone wants to call every bad situation an emergency and domestic cases are nothing but bad situations and 2) because they are being asked to make decisions without letting the other side tell their story. If there is a remedy for the violation (if that parent should not have had this two weeks of summer, but the judge could take other time away from the offender without harm to the child) short of asking the Judge to take the child via police, that is the road to go down. Judges can punish violations with Orders for attorneys fees, extra time for the other parent, moving to supervised or having other parameters or limitations…without having to traumatize a child with a ride in a police car.

If there is no remedy that will truly keep the child safe, in the event of escalating obvious mental health issues and increasingly bold violations..the Court can enter a Pick Up Order. This court order will describe the child and the parent who has them wrongfully, and it will authorize the police to pick the child up. The Order should be drafted to include all the places the child could reasonably be, with the most obvious listed first.

The Order may indicate that law enforcement is authorized to enter a home in order to find the child, and that they can do this at any hour. Without this provision, most law enforcement agencies are going to “stake out” a home only. If the person has taken the child to other locations, it may be necessary to hire a PI to attempt to find them and then call in law enforcement to pick up the child..many police agencies are just too overworked to spend days or even hours trying to hunt up parents who have stolen their children.

Ultimately, there are remedies in these situations, but the process can take a while and can be scary in the meantime. It is important to understand that long term, the parents who follow court orders, who show respect to the Judge’s determinations and work within the system will long term get much better results. Once a parent pushes things to the point of requiring this type of action, they have usually lost the Judge’s trust and are working against themselves.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/3651962

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Abducted to The Philippines – Parental Child Abduction


The Philippines is not a party to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction
Hundreds of American parents face a similar plight, fighting from within the United States to bring home children they say were kidnapped and taken abroad by the other parent. The U.S. State Department is handling roughly 1,000 international parental kidnapping cases, including seven that involve children taken to the Philippines.

Many parents left behind face linguistic, cultural, geographical and legal barriers. Often, the spouse is a citizen, or can become a citizen, of the country to which he or she has fled and is entitled to that country’s protection.

The Philippines sees parental kidnapping as a custody dispute, not a crime. And the country isn’t party to the international treaty that created a process for resolving such disputes.

The Philippine government says it cooperates with U.S. law enforcement and consular officials to locate children alleged to have been abducted and check on their welfare. The officials also can help negotiate a return. But in many cases, the decision on whether the children should be sent back to the parent in the United States falls to the courts.


You should contact your local police station if your child has been taken overseas without your consent or if you fear your child will be abducted

There are 3 broad categories of child abduction:

  • Abduction – where a child is taken overseas without the other parent’s consent – this may be a criminal offense.
  • Wrongful retention – where a child has been retained in a foreign country following an overseas trip
  • Threat of abduction – where there is a risk that a child will be taken overseas
Note:
The Philippines is not a party to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, nor are there any international or bilateral treaties in force between the Philippines and the United States dealing with international parental child abduction. Therefore, there is no treaty remedy by which the left behind parent would be able to pursue recovery of the child/ren should they be abducted to or wrongfully retained in the Philippines. Once in the Philippines, the child/ren would be completely subject to Philippine law for all matters including custody.
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Plan to sign Hague Convention welcome but children’s best interests should come first


Source: The Mainichi Daily News
Japan’s new policy of signing the Hague Convention that stipulates the treatment of children from failed international marriages in custody disputes has been approved by Cabinet ministers, with Prime Minister Naoto Kan planning to announce the decision at a G8 Summit set to take place in France on May 26 and 27.

Officially called the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction or the Hague Abduction Convention, the treaty went into effect in 1983, and counts 84 countries, primarily in the West, as its signatories.

According to the Hague Convention, if a child is removed from their country of habitual residence and a parent petitions for the child’s return to that country, the government of the country to where the child has been taken has the responsibility of cooperating with the child’s return and in negotiations for talks between the respective parents’ parties.

Japan has been facing increasing pressure from Western nations to sign the treaty because of a significant number of cases in which Japanese mothers removed their children from other countries and returned to Japan. The Japanese Foreign Ministry has set up opportunities for periodic consultation with parties from both the U.S. and France — citizens of which Japan nationals have shown to have a great number of custody disputes — and have consulted on a total of 130 individual cross-border custody cases.

In some cases, bringing a child back to Japan without consent from the other parent has resulted in parents facing charges of abduction. That many such parents claim to be victims of domestic violence complicates these cases even further, and such allegations of abuse make the argument that joining the convention raises concerns for the protection of Japanese citizens and goes against the child’s interests understandable.

Meanwhile, Japanese partners whose children have been removed from Japan have pushed for Japan to sign the treaty, with hopes that it would help resolve their own custody disputes.

The Hague Convention includes special exemptions, including one that states that a child does not have to be returned to their country of habitual residence in cases where doing so would pose a great risk of physical or emotional pain for them. This exemption is key.

According to the Japanese Foreign Ministry, of the approximately 800 cases of child custody suits around the world in which a parent is seeking the child’s return, the abovementioned exemption has been permitted in 30 percent of cases — ruling that the children did not have to be returned.

These special cases include those in which there remain the chances of a mother becoming a victim of domestic violence if she and her child were to return to their country of habitual residence; or if the child were to return on their own but would suffer if separated from the mother; or in cases in which the child cannot be expected to receive sufficient care upon return. From these cases, it is apparent that courts of various countries around the world are taking a relatively flexible approach to the convention.

Signing the convention and searching for solutions based on internationally-recognized rules is an unavoidable path for Japan. Yet, we must protect our citizens based on the actual nature of each case in a way that adheres with the treaty.

Whether or not a child brought to Japan should be returned to their previous country of residence will be decided by Japanese courts based on the law. The government is set to add a provision to its Hague-Convention bill indicating that in cases that involve allegations of child abuse or of domestic violence by one partner against another, the child can be stopped from being returned to their country of habitual residence.

One of the major factors at the base of cross-border custody disputes is the difference in how custody is perceived. Joint custody is common in many of the convention’s signatory nations, with children often going back and forth between their divorced parents. In Japan, however, sole custody is more common, and is often granted to the mother.

As the number of international marriages continues to rise, we must think about what really constitutes our children’s best interests.

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We Recover Internationally Abducted Children


We can bring your child back !

International Child Abduction is tragically a global epidemic.

Leading experts believe that due to the rapid growth in multi-national marriages and relationships, the number of children born from parents of different countries will continue to expand. Similar to all relationships, a significant portion of these marriages or partnerships will end in divorce. All too often, one of the separating parents of the child of the relationship will seek to abduct the child to a country other than where the child has lived. This is called ‘International Parental Child Abduction’, and though there are various civil remedies available to targeted parents who have had their child abducted, the challenges they face are grave, and include first and foremost, locating where the child is located.

Unfortunately for the majority of targeted parents, the financial burden for recovery and litigation falls on their shoulders. With tens of thousands of children parentally abducted each year, the reality is too many of these children never come home. ABP World Group is dedicated to assisting parents in need of assistance in locating, rescuing, and safely bringing home your abducted child.

Our intelligence and investigation abilities combined with our ability to dispatch personnel to most locations in the world offer a safe and strategic solution to protecting your most important asset: your child.

Areas of expertise:

Parental abduction.

Missing children.

Kidnappings.

Runaway children.

Reunification Counseling.

Unfortunately in this day and time parental kidnapping happens and we are here to help you trough this difficult period. We are aware parental child abduction can be difficult to resolve, but we use professional operatives with the skills and expertise to help find a resolution.

One key to ABP World Group’s successful recovery and re-unification of your loved one is to use all necessary means available including, but not limited to:

Electronic Forensic Foot printing Investigations

Intelligence Gathering

Information Specialists/Skip Tracing

Evidence Procurement

Interview/Evaluation

Surveillance Special Ops

Non-Combatant Evacuation Ops

Domestic Support

International Operations

Maritime/Land/Air transport

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Court orders return of children abducted from father in Norway


June 10, 2011 by Rosalind English, UK Human Rights Blog

In the matter of E (Children) [2011] UKSC – read judgment 

The Supreme Court has ruled that two girls, aged seven and four respectively, be returned with their mother to Norway, after she had removed them without the father’s consent. The decision was made largely under the Hague Convention on the Rights of the Child which gives more specific direction to the courts in abduction cases than the European Convention on Human Rights, although, as the Supreme Court observed, a little more reassurance that the necessary safeguards can be enforced in the destination country would make it easier for the courts in the requesting country to make orders protecting the interests of the child.

The following summary is based on the UK Supreme Court’s press release. The numerals in bold refer to paragraph numbers in the judgment.

The case

The children had lived all of their lives in Norway until September last year when their mother brought them to England with a view to staying here permanently. The father was not asked and did not consent to their removal from Norway. The mother had an older daughter, Tyler, who is nearly 17 and also lived with the family in Norway, but left Norway for England shortly before her mother.

The father applied to the Norwegian central authority under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of Child Abduction 1980 for the children to be returned to Norway. Article 12 of the Hague Convention requires a requested state to return a child forthwith to her country of habitual residence if she has been wrongfully removed in breach of rights of custody. But Article 13 provides three exceptions, one of which is that the child should not be returned if

there is a grave risk that his or her return would expose the child to physical or psychological harm or otherwise place the child in an intolerable situation

The mother, with Tyler’s support, argued that this exception applies. She made allegations against the father which, if true, amount to a classic case of serious psychological abuse. She recounted incidents of physical violence towards other people, property and the ill-treatment of the family pets. There was also psychiatric evidence that the mother is suffering from a mental disorder which would deteriorate if she had to return with the children to Norway.

Although the father denied some of these allegations, he did admit to bouts of anger, and to killing two of the family pets, a cat and a rabbit. But he undertook to vacate the family home and not go within 500 metres of it; and he said would pay household costs and provide money for child support. He also promised that he would not remove the children from the mother’s care.

The judgment

The Supreme Court, like the Family Court and the Court of Appeal before it, unanimously dismissed the mother’s appeal.

Reasons for the judgment

The case law of the European Court of Human Rights indicates that the right to respect for family life in article 8 of the European Convention must be interpreted in the light of the Hague Convention and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The best interests of children have two aspects:

1) to be reunited with their parents as soon as possible so that one parent does not gain an unfair advantage over the other through the passage of time; and

2) to be brought up in a “sound environment” in which they are not at risk of harm[52].

The President of the Strasbourg court has recently acknowledged extra-judicially that

the logic of the Hague Convention is that a child who has been abducted should be returned to the jurisdiction best-placed to protect his interests and welfare, and it is only there that his situation should be reviewed in full [25].

Violence and abuse between parents may constitute a grave risk to the children. But where there are disputed allegations which can neither be tried nor objectively verified, the focus of the inquiry is bound to be on the sufficiency of any protective measures which can be put in place to reduce the risk.

In this case, the trial judge was satisfied that medical treatment would be available for the mother and that there were legal remedies to protect the children should they be needed. It is not the task of an appellate court to disagree with the trial judge’s assessment [49].

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